I received the following question in my DM:
“[…] I personally don’t post much on social media, and I don’t like publicly sharing my opinions or thoughts. […] I was wondering how I can be an ally without sharing or posting stuff online. What else could I do, in your opinion?”
I don’t consider myself an authority on this subject at all (racism and allyship). But allyship doesn’t have to be big and loud and showy. It can be quiet.
It can be donating to an organization that advocates for Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC).
It can be correcting someone when they say something problematic or bigoted.
It can be always checking our biases, questioning ourselves or how we think and actively trying to do better.
It can be amplifying the voices of BIPOC in our boardrooms and discussions. Our voices tend to get lost or be ignored or not be taken seriously. In meetings, when you see this happening, repeat what we’ve said, share our writings and our words and make sure to give us credit for our ideas.
Read books written by BIPOC to better understand our perspectives — realizing that the perspectives are diverse and non-homogenous.
Part of being an ally will probably involve some degree of publicity. When you take a stand for someone via email, or check out a book about Indigenous people at the library, or confront your grandfather at the dinner table, someone other than you will likely know. So I don’t know if it’s possible to be a silent ally. But you can be a quiet and effective one. I think about the families who hid persecuted Jews in their attics and underneath their floorboards during the Holocaust. I think about the Quakers and abolitionists and free people of colour at each stop and station of the Underground Railroad.
Allyship is not about volume. We don’t need performative allies. We need allies when no one is watching and when no congratulations will be given.